Do you have a Will? Certainly not a subject I ever relished discussing…and it appears a lot of people feel the same since somewhere between 55 and 65% of Americans do not have one. If you are in that percentage, I urge you to look into it for yourself. My wife and I were fortunate to have friends who stressed the importance of having one, so after we were married we had a living trust prepared. Recent events prompted us to revisit it to be sure all was in order; so over last weekend we spent several hours going through it and realized that we had some updating to do (It’s amazing how much can change in 25 years!!).
During my research to complete the process, I came across more very pertinent information to share with you and collectively, they fall under the category of, “Three Critical Ways to Protect Your Family”.
- Living Will –
Make no mistake, if you have children and/or assets, a will is crucial. Going through the process is not the most fun thing you can do – Who likes to think about dying? – but it gets easier if you think from the standpoint of protecting the people closest to you. Many people believe a will is not necessary because they don’t have many assets. But what happens if you get in an accident and can’t care for yourself or you’re incapacitated? Who do you want to be in charge of your medical decisions? Do you want to leave that to chance? If you do have assets, do you really want the state determining who gets those assets? Don’t be the person that leaves your family scrambling to figure everything out. Call us if you would like a recommendation to an estate planning attorney or if you need a simple will and medical directive. You can find free tools online.
- Umbrella Policy –
Quick quiz: Do you own a dog? How about a swimming pool or trampoline? Do you have a long commute? Are you a hunter? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there’s an above average chance you will be sued. You are also more vulnerable if you have teen drivers at home, are active on social media, coaching a youth sports team, and the list goes on and on. The problem is that if you do get sues and are found at fault, your homeowners and auto insurance coverage may not fully cover the liability. This means that you could be personally on the hook for any shortfall in the coverage. The solution is an umbrella policy which adds another layer of the liability protection. This policy typically will protect the same things as your home and auto policies plus a few more. For example, if you rent a watercraft or for defamation of character. It picks up where work, auto, and home policies leave off. Usually in increments of $1 million, the best part is its cost which is typically between $150 and $300 for the first million and $100 for each million thereafter. Since you normally bundle auto and home with the same carrier to receive multi-policy discounts, you ideally want to purchase the umbrella policy from the same company. It’s a small price to pay for a large piece of mind!
- Smart 911 –
Recently, in Cincinnati Ohio, a family lost their son who became trapped in their minivan because the police could not locate the vehicle in time. There are countless other situations where first responders do not have adequate information to provide the best possible care or locate someone when it matters most. The service was created to better equip first responders to help you in an emergency. You sign up for the service for free and enter your family’s “Safety Profile” including addresses, phone numbers, emergency contact information, medical information (including your medications), pet information, and your automobile information. Imagine if a first responder had that information when they took a call? Although not yet available everywhere, it’s currently active in many Metro areas and expanding rapidly. God forbid you will ever need it, but it’s a good thing to have if you do. Check it out @ Smart911.com.
As always, I’m a phone call away if you have questions or need clarification.